A dad and his daughters, loving life in New York City

Thursday, April 27

Weekend Movie Picks: 7.20

What's good, what's fun, what's intriguing, what's a must... now playing in Manhattan theaters.

What I'd like to see:

Bo and Co are taking a break from reading HP7 and going with me tonight, though I must say the prospect of John Travolta overacting in drag has me leery...

Old-school sensibilities seem to rule in this science fiction film about a (suicide) mission to re-ignite the sun. Directed by Danny Boyle.

Live-in Maid
This import from Argentina about the decades-long relationship between two women—a maid and her employer—has the best reviews of the week. Looks like a very promising character-based story.

Talk to Me
I'm keeping my expectations low for this Sixties set piece about a jive-talking DJ who sticks it to the man in Washington DC. But the trailer always gives me goosebumps (total sucker for the sentimental) and it stars the great Don Cheadle.

According to reviews, a meandering, sweet, completely likeable portrait of kids at a sleepaway camp Wisconsin. I bet Bo and Co would love this.

Ghosts of City Soleil
The supposedly violent, disturbing documentary about Haitian thugs whose lives are informed by American hip-hop.

What I've seen, and liked:

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
This could be my favorite of the series: tense, funny, tender, thrilling, and the last 15 minutes or so had me totally in tears. My daughters liked it less, but what do they know?

I wanted it to be funnier, but there's no question that Pixar's latest is a near-brilliant portrait of creativity in the kitchen.

Rescue Dawn
Forgive the Top Gun ending (and hide your eyes during certain torture/maggot-eating scenes if you need to) and you'll appreciate this tense, relentless Vietnam POW thriller featuring an excellent Christian Bale.

Michael Moore is the master of the faux-naive question, which he uses to devastating (though often quite funny) effect in this scathing indictment of American health care, especially as compared to the government-run systems of France, Great Britain, Canada, and Cuba.

A Mighty Heart
Angelina Jolie is great as the film's emotional core, but the real star is director Michael Winterbottom, who has made a complicated, smart, heartbreaking, visually—and politically—striking thriller.

Live Free or Die Harder
The perfect summer actioner: millions of bullets, thousands of car wrecks, amazing stunts, crazy deaths, the country in peril, wisecracks from our smirking hero. But the shrewdest move of all is casting Justin Long as Willis's sidekick, instantly updating the franchise.

Broken English

Less cute and romantic than sad and bitter, this portrait of a single woman in NYC making poor choices in love is nonetheless a fairly engaging take on modern relationships.

Manufactured Landscapes
A visually amazing documentary about Edward Burtynsky, a photographer who specializes in massive shots of industrial landscapes, here focusing on environmental devastation in China and Bangladesh, wrought by our addiction to consumerism. Bo, Co and I all liked this a lot, and it provoked a great conversation on our way home, but we also all wished there had been more background and context given to imagery.

Ocean's 13
Funny, clever, stylish and exceptionally likable, starring the cutest guys on the planet. My favorite "summer blockbuster" thus far.

La Vie En Rose
Both Tom and I loved this Edith Piaf biopic: the music, the bravura performance by Marion Cotillard, the movie's structure and script.

Knocked Up
The reviews are right: this is rowdy, sweet, crude, smart, well-acted, hilarious.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Shockingly incoherent but definitely fun to look at. Think of it as a $200 million art film and you'll be all right.

The sweetest movie playing today: affecting, romantic and filled with great music.

Clever, cute, funny, with terrific performances all around. Looks great, feels great. My favorite movie I saw this Spring.

The Lives of Others
A smart, well-crafted tale of suspense and betrayal, set in dreary 1980s East Berlin.



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